top of page
  • Writer's pictureMcNickle & Bonner

Tips for Creating Your Last Will and Testament

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

It’s easy to put it off, but compelling reasons exist to create your last will and testament now. Aside from being an important estate planning tool, a will ensures your assets go where you want them to go.

While it can be overwhelming to write your last will, the process can be much easier with the help of an estate planning attorney. We’ve put together these tips to make it a lot easier for you to put down your wishes.

Last Will & Testament Forms & Paperwork

Verify Your Mental Health

One of the most important things to do is verify that you are in good mental health at the time of penning down your will. You can do this by booking a mental health assessment with a psychiatrist.

Taking this step can demonstrate that you were of sound mind when you wrote your will, preventing disputes and potential claims to the contrary.

Find a Reliable Estate Planning Attorney

Today, there are online services that can help you write a will. However, it’s often best to consult an estate planning attorney, especially if you have a significant estate and a complex estate plan.

Even if you are using an online platform, an estate planning lawyer can help avoid loopholes and guide you on properly preparing the document. This way, you can avoid costly issues with your will down the road.

Select an Executor

An executor is responsible for handling details, such as probating your will, and ensuring your wishes are carried out. So choose someone trustworthy, responsible, and of sound body and mind.

They can be a family member, close friend, or even your estate planning attorney. You can also name a backup executor in the event that your first choice is unavailable.

Determine Beneficiaries and Guardians

Beneficiaries are those you want to pass on your assets to, from individuals to institutions, such as charities. Along with naming them, you should also list the specific asset you want them to receive.

If you have a dependent with special needs or a minor child, appoint a guardian who will take good care of them when you are no longer around.

Sign Your Last Will and Testament

Validate your last will by appending your signature to it. Most states require that two witnesses also place their signatures to authenticate it.

If you are creating your last will and testament in Pennsylvania, you only need a witness if someone is signing for you or you are using a mark. However, witnesses may be required at probate to prove that your will is valid.

Keep It Up-to-Date

Keep your will in a safe and secure place. Also, review it regularly, especially after you experience major life changes such as a divorce, marriage, birth of a child, and so on. This will ensure your will truly reflects your current situation and wishes.

Get the Help of a Certified Pa Estate Planning Attorney

As it can be daunting writing a will, especially a complex one, enlist the help of certified PA estate planning attorneys. With us, you can also ensure your assets go where you want them and avoid loopholes and pitfalls that could invalidate your will. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.


bottom of page